Friday, 30 September 2011

SA/Namibia 2011 - Day 1. The Cape Peninsula.

Finally the day of departure dawned and we rendezvous at Birmingham International Airport - BHX.

Departure Lounge - BHX

Emirates Flight EK039 was running late. Changing planes would be 'interesting' at Dubai - DXB. Do we look bothered?

Thanks to efficient Emirates Airlines ground staff at DXB we made the connecting flight - just. Here is proof.

In fact the picture above shows us crossing the equator. My Garmin 76Cx agrees. Tony gets initiated; welcome to the Southern Hemisphere Tony. Your outlook on life will never be the same again.........

In Cape Town we stayed at lovely Kalk Bay - Chartfield Guesthouse.

View of Kalk Bay from Mike F's and John K's room.

The team presented me with a team shirt. I was very touched. It had MotoMates 2011 on it.

Look how happy I am to be back in uniform.

We had a great evening at the Harbour House restaurant. After breakfast we set off for Cape Town and MotoBerlin.

Togged up and ready to go get the motorbikes.

Day 1 we head to Cape Town to collect the motorcycles from MotoBerlin at The Waterfront. Danie is our contact man there, and he gives us excellent service.

Tony E taking delivery of a BMW F650GS

The motorbikes: 2 x Yamaha Tenere XT660s. 3 x Suzuki V-Strom DL650s and 1 x BMW 650GS. It was supposed to be 4 x Suzukis but someone had crashed a Suzuki so we got a BMW replacement. Five of us ride big BMWs and one rides a Honda CBF 1000 at home, but we wanted lighter bikes for this trip. From left to right above are: Graeme W, Tony E, Andrew M, John M (author), Mike F, John K. We are (or were) a doctor, a dentist, a pharmacist, a farmer, a civil engineer and an airline pilot - but not necessarily in the above order! Every member of the team has gained the I.A.M Advanced Motorcycling Certificate. Allow me to introduce you:

Tony E - Farmer. Specialist: Vintage Tractors. Crops. Bringing Steadiness and Calm to the Team.

Andrew M - Dentist. Specialist: HR Advisor. Whiskey Provider. Bar Expert. Running  Kitty.

Mike F - Pharmacist. Specialist: Riding Standards. Sourcing Freebies. Team Uniforms. Detour Route Planner.

John K - Doctor. Specialist: Providing F.A.K. (Elastoplast). Long Distance Guru.

Graeme W - Civil Engineer. Specialist: Tarmac. Road Surface Adviser. World Rider.

John M - Pilot: Specialist: Getting Own Way. Grumpiness. Providing a Compass.

So .... Day 1 was a kind of 'getting to know the bikes, the country and the traffic' day. A gentle ride around the Peninsula, with a stop in Hout Bay (at Darios) for a snack - and shelter from the heavy rain - before continuing on to Cape Point.

Cape Point is now a National Park in fact.

Indian Ocean on the left; Atlantic on the right!

Then back via Simonstown and Fish Hoek to our lovely guesthouse at Kalk Bay. We had a drink or three before going to the Harbour House restaurant for an excellent dinner. WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?

Distance Today: 115 kilometers. 71 miles. 

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